Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts

This past weekend, I got to enjoy the beautiful weather, and see some friends and family I hadn’t seen in a very long time.  There was reminiscing, laughter, and (I bet you think this is where I say these nuts.  And go on to say how they were a huge success.  Nope.) chillaxin in a lawn chair at a gun range.  It felt like one of those weekends that had pitch perfect balance between getting away, and having some free time at home for mini-projects.

I also ate a crap ton of these nuts.  I’d brought them along for our drives, and we wound up devouring the batch. They are just so addictive.  Salty, spicy (more smoke than heat), and sweet.  These nuts are a staple when I’m entertaining since they can be made a day or two in advance, are vegetarian / vegan friendly, look impressive, and taste great.  It’s to the point now that I have to try and remember whether I’ve served these to group of friends X before (I like them to think I have oodles of amazing apps and dishes in my arsenal :P).

Entertaining aside, these are great for a snack.  The recipe is also pretty versatile in that you can use a mix of whatever nuts you like, change up the sweeteners, or make half a batch (the photos here are from a half batch, using cashews, walnuts, and almonds.)

The oven is a beautiful thing.

If you don’t have chipotle powder, smoked paprika tastes nearly identical.  If you don’t have either, you could try a chili powder, but you’re really going to be missing out on that deep, smoky flavor that really knocks these out of the park.

Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts – slightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa, How Easy is That?

  • vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 cups whole unsalted cashews (14 oz.)
  • 2 cups whole walnut halves (7 oz.)
  • 2 cups whole pecan halves (7 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds (3 oz.)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tsp. ground chipotle powder or smoked paprika
  • 2-3 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided
  • kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Brush a sheet pan generously with oil.  Combine the nuts, 2 tbsp. of oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice, and chipotle powder in a large bowl.  Toss to coat the nuts evenly.  Add 1 – 1 1/2 tbsp. rosemary and 2 tsp. of salt and toss again.

Spread the nuts in one layer (you may need to use 2 sheet pans).  Roast the nuts for 25 min., stirring twice with a large spatula, until the nuts are glazed and golden brown.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 2 more tsp. of salt and another 1 – 1 1/2 tbsp. of rosemary.  Toss well and set aside at room temperature, stirring once or twice to prevent sticking as they cool.  Serve warm or cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Yield – 8-10 servings

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